What's the better rechargeable battery for a solar light, NiCd or NiMH?
NiMH is better, though likely more expensive.
NiMH have higher capacity in a given size and thus will be able to keep the light on longer, provided that the sun is out long enough to adequately charge the cell. They don't (much) suffer from the memory effect, so they can be recharged even if not completely discharged with no significant loss in capacity. They don't have Cadmium, so are not as bad for the environment as NiCds (the Cd of which means Cadmium).
I'd never really thought about this before, but the on again, off again nature of sunlight on a partly cloudy day would not be good for a NiCd (as in charge, discharge, charge discharge, etc.) and likely exacerbate the natural memory effect of NiCds.read more collapse
I've tried all three (inadvertently) in solar rechargeable outdoor lighting. Well, more truthfully, my mother-in-law took a bunch of my batteries and fitted them into her lights, and raved about how much better they were. My first thought was 'of course it's better, the batteries you put in are worth more than the lights...'
Family issues aside, here's what we found. The batteries in the home improvement center lights were absolute trash to begin with. That they ever worked shocked me. We independently recharged them with a very good charger, and while they worked great for a couple days, it went back to trash.
NiCds worked best in incandescent lights, but only gave good light for about 2 hours after sunset. Plenty of time to get home and in the house, but no wow factor later at night. NiMH gave brighter light, but failed quicker (maybe 1.5 hours?) at full brightness with some light up to 5 hours later. LIons gave full for 1.25 hours, and dim for the rest of the night.read more collapse
- Sep 11, 2011 4:52 PM
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